USC 13, Northwestern 6
Dedeaux Field Los Angeles, Calif. Attendance: 916
Box Score | Box Score
LOS ANGELES -- The offenses on both sides of the diamond heated up Sunday, but Northwestern was unable to keep pace with the USC Trojans as it fell, 13-6, at Dedeaux Field.
While Northwestern thumped out a season-high six runs on 14 hits, the Wildcats were also hampered by a four errors in the field.
USC led by a run after an innings, but the cushion did not last long. NU struck for a pair of tallies in the top of the second to get on the scoreboard for the first time Sunday. The comeback began when junior Reid Hunter belted a lead-off triple, the second of his career. Hunter came into score when Luke Dauch, the next hitter, reached on an error by USC's second baseman, Dante Flores. Following a base hit by Northwestern shortstop Cody Stevens, Dauch came home on an RBI sacrifice bunt by catcher Jake Straub to make it 2-1 in favor of the 'Cats.
The Trojans answered two runs of their own in the bottom of the second and two more in the third to take a 5-2 lead against starting pitcher Reed Mason and his Northwestern teammates. Mason's first start of the season came to an end after that third inning, but his offense would take him off the hook soon enough.
In the top of the fifth, Studio City, Calif., native Walker Moses started the parade with a base hit to left field. First baseman Zach Jones then picked up his second hit of the game with a double down the line in left. With a pair of runners in scoring position, clean-up man Joe Hoscheit clubbed a two-bagger of his own to bring both Moses and Jones home and pull the Wildcats to within a run. The next hitter, Nick Linne, sacrificed Hoscheit to third before Hunter brought him in and tied the game, 5-5, with a RBI single up the middle.
Stevens picked up an infield single that chased USC starter Kyle Twomey from the ballgame, but Northwestern was unable to add on when Straub flew out to center field for the third out of the inning.
USC broke the game open in its half of the fifth frame. The home struck for seven runs on seven hits off of two NU relievers to take a 12-5 lead. The Trojans' lead ballooned to eight runs with another tally in the bottom of the sixth.
NU notched its final run of the ballgame in the top of the seventh inning. Hunter set things in motion once again with his career-high third hit of the game with one away. Dauch hit a single that pushed Hunter to second base before the Tucson, Ariz., native came home on a base hit to left field off the bat of Straub. Antonio Freschet then singled for the Purple and White to load the bases, but Moses was put out with a fly ball to center to end the late threat.
Nick Friar closed the game on the mound with two scoreless innings for Northwestern. The senior gave up two hits, recorded a strikeout and did not walk a batter.
USC left fielder A.J. Ramirez went 4-for-4 with three RBI to pace the USC offensive attack.
The Wildcats will travel to Port Charlotte, Fla., next weekend for the Snowbird Classic at North Charlotte Regional Park. NU will face Kansas on Friday, Feb. 21 at 9:30 a.m. CT before battling both Nebraska-Omaha and Mississippi Valley State the following day. The stint in the Sunshine State concludes on Sunday, Feb. 23 with a game against Ball State at 9:30 a.m.
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